Transcript for Democrats zeroing in on impeachment showdown
The impeachment trial of president trump. Day three of the senate trial. House managers today arguing the president abused his power, and what they showed, they say proof of the president's motive. Tonight, the president's team on how they plan to defend him. And ABC's Mary Bruce on the hill again tonight. Reporter: Democrats today zeroing in on the central question of abuse of power. Using polls to argue president trump only started pushing Ukraine to launch investigations when he saw himself losing to Joe Biden. Fox News poll showed Biden beating trump by 11 points. The president asked Ukraine for this investigation for one reason and one reason only -- because he knew it would be damaging to an opponent who was consistently beating him in the polls. Reporter: Democrats point out the president didn't press Ukraine until 2019, when polls showed the former vice president was his biggest threat. Those polls do show a powerful motive that Donald Trump had. Motive that he didn't have the year before or the year before that. Reporter: They argue the pressure campaign that followed amounts to abuse of power. No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections. Prior presidents would be shocked to the core by such conduct. Reporter: Trump's team says abuse of power is not a crime and therefore not an impeachable offense. But chairman Jerrold Nadler tried to dismantle that argument using one of the president's top defenders to make his case. Playing old video of senator linsey graham from the Clinton impeachment trial. Doesn't have to be a crime. It's just when you start using your office and you're acting in a way that hurts people, you have committed a high crime. Reporter: Democrats point out it wasn't just graham. That one of the president's own defense team and even attorney general bill Barr have said, you don't need an actual crime to impeach. But the president's lawyer says, either way, they don't believe the president's actions warpt removal from office. The actions of the president do not reach that lefshlgs no matter which school of thought you're on. And we're not afraid to put out both of those schools of thought. Reporter: Democrats now have one more day to make their case. Despite their disagreement, graham even praising Adam Schiff's presentation when they ran into each other in the cap Tom. He's well-spoken. Did a good job of creating a tapestry, taking bits and pieces of evidence and emails and giving a rhetorical flourish, making the email come alive. Sometimes effectively, sometimes a little over the top. But shaking hands there in the cop toll, that image making news all day today. Mary Bruce live back on the hill tonight. Democrats playing that video of senator graham from the Clinton impeachment trial where he said, you don't have to commit a crime to be impeached. His colleagues turning to look at his chair when that happened and he wasn't there? Reporter: Quite a moment, David, but senator graham was not there in the chamber, though it did get quite a few Snickers from his colleagues when they turned to look at his empty chair. Now, David, Democrats have one more day to make their case before the trump team finally has a chance to respond, starting on Saturday. But tonight, sources tell us that they may opt for a shorter session on Saturday so that the president's team can make the bulk of their response next week when more people are likely to be tuning in. Mary Bruce again tonight. Mary, thank you.
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